Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: Al Houthi and AQAP militants mobilize towards Ma’rib; President Hadi asks military to cooperate with al Houthis; Ansar al Sharia militants fight with al Houthi gunmen in al Bayda; unidentified militants detonate roadside IED in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants fire mortars at the presidential compound in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab militants target a security official with car bomb in Mogadishu; Somali cabinet ministers threaten to resign if prime minister doesn’t step down; Somali National Army (SNA) forces kill al Shabaab leader in Bay region; Kenyan authorities conduct large scale raids of mosques with suspected ties to al Shabaab in Kenya’s Coast Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants mobilized forces towards Ma’rib on November 17, allegedly to prevent local tribal militants from attacking oil pipelines and electricity lines. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants also reportedly sent its forces to Ma’rib on November 17.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi held a meeting with military leaders in Sana’a on November 17 in which he encouraged military leadership to work with al Houthi militants in order to normalize the security situation in Yemen.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants attacked al Houthi gunmen in Rada’a, al Bayda, 150 km southeast of Sana’a, on November 16, killing five al Houthis. Additionally, Ansar al Sharia militants detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in Rada’a on November 17, resulting in no casualties.[3]
  • Unidentified militants detonated a roadside IED targeting a military convoy in Shibam, Hadramawt, 500 km east of Sana’a, injuring two soldiers.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants fired mortars near the presidential palace in Mogadishu on November 16, resulting in no casualties. Al Shabaab military spokesman Abu Musab later confirmed that al Shabaab militants carried out the attack.[5] 
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants planted a car bomb that exploded along Makka al Mukarama Road in Mogadishu, killing an immigration officer and a civilian on November 16.[6]
  • A majority of the 22-member cabinet of ministers in the Somali Federal Government signed a petition on November 16 calling for Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed to resign amidst the ongoing political dispute between the Somali president and the prime minister. Fourteen ministers stated that they would resign if the prime minister refused to step down. The prime minister, however, stated he will not step down.[7]
  • Somali officials announced that Somali National Army (SNA) forces reportedly killed an alleged al Shabaab leader Sheikh Abdi Yusuf during a November 13 raid on an al Shabaab base in Goofgadud, Bay region.[8]
  • Kenyan authorities raided two mosques with suspected links to al Shabaab, killing one person and arresting more than 250 people, in Mombasa in Kenya’s Coast Province on November 17. Kenyan police reportedly recovered a pistol, ammunition, eight grenades and an al Shabaab flag during the raids.[9]

[1] “With Houthi group mobilized towards Ma’rib, president meets military leadership to defend,” Aden al Ghad, November 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Exclusive video of large crowd of al Qaeda fighters in Marib after fleeing from al Baydha and Ibb,” YouTube, November 17, 2014. Available: 
[2]  “President Hadi urges army leadership on partnership with al Houthi group,” al Masdar, November 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “5 Houthis killed in C. Yemen clashes,” World Bulletin, November 16, 2014. Available:
[4] “Explosion targeting a military convoy in Shibam, Wadi Hadramawt,” Barakish, November 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somalia’s al Shabaab says fires at presidential compound,” Retuers November 16, 2014. Available:
[6] AFP, “Two wounded in Somalia car bomb blast: police,” Yahoo News, November 16, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Mogadishu car bomb kills immigration officer,” Garowe Online, November 16, 2014. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: 14 cabinet ministers sign a petition to call PM Abdiweli to resign,” RBC Radio, November 17, 2014. Available:
James Butty, “Majority of Somalia Cabinet Urges Prime Minister to Resign,” VOA, November 17, 2014. Available:
“Somali Prime Minister refuses to step down,” Horseed Media, November 17, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Somalia Forces Raid Gofgadud, Kill Al-Shabaab Leader,” Sabahi Online, November 13, 2014. Available: 
[9] “Kenya police seize weapons in Mombasa mosques raid,” BBC, November 17, 2014. Available:
Joseph Akwiri, “Kenyan police shoot dead man, arrest 250 during mosque raids,” Reuters Canada, November 17, 2014. Available:
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